Politics & Race
The Top Ten Ways For Black People to Avoid Being Shot By Police

In the past few days there have been a rash of police shootings. It doesn’t matter when you are reading this, I can almost guarantee you that in those past few days, a man or woman of color has been lynched by a police officer. Even if you’re reading this a year from now. Even if you build a time machine and go back to the early 1900’s. Whenever or wherever there are Black people, there are officers of the law or fugitive slave hunters waiting for you with  guns or untightened nooses. While your prospects for survival seem harrowing, here at NegusWhoRead we are all about solutions. As such, we have compiled a list of ways you might avoid being shot by police if you are Black

10. Tell them you’re hungry – This is the simplest plan. Lets say you have committed a heinous act like walking into a Bible study class and murdering nine people in a historic church. Don’t despair. As Dylan Roof showed us, you can simply tell them you are famished and the officers of the law are bound by a secret code to take you to Burger King. As you’re eating your Whopper (although I prefer that oblong chicken sandwich) remind yourself that your life has been spared by the knowledge gleaned from the good people at NegusWhoRead.

9. Remind them that you live in America – No matter what law you have broken, there is a little-known loophole in the law that allows you to spit on police and threaten to rip out their throats “like a vampire” (like this woman did), tell them you are going to do it again “with a blunt in your mouth” (like this man did) if you remind them that “this is America!” Our analysis shows that Sandra Bland might not have been detained in a jail cell for switching lanes without a signal had she simply reminded the officer who probably hanged her that she was an American. This theory has not been thoroughly tested by many people of color, but that couldn’t possibly matter. This is not a racist country. This is America.

8. Get Famous Cam Newton, Pharrell and Lil Wayne have repeatedly reminded us that racism does not exist any more. All you have to do is become a big enough celebrity, get millions of dollars and have an instantly recognizable face.  Once you do this, a courier will arrive at your door and hand you a box filled with “get out of a police shooting free” cards and a renewable season pass to post-racial America.

7. Go on a high speed chase High speed chases always end with the person being “arrested without incident” like the person riding around Chattanooga shooting at cars and pedestrians wearing body armor who was taken into police custody. Yeah, it was a 45-year old White woman, but still. Here is–like the great orator DJ Khaled would say–the “major key:” They shoot Black people before the chase even starts. Like Officer James Burns did in Atlanta. Like they did Eric Langston. Like they do always.

6. Run The key is knowing how to run. Not like Walter Scott did before he was shot in the back. Not like 15-year old Kestin Charles did when police shot him in the back while he was running away. Definitely not like Tyre King did when police shot him in the back. See they ran kinda niggerish. You must not run like you are Black. Run like the man who planted 10 bombs around New York and New Jersey, shot at police and was still apprehended alive.  

5. Remove Your License Plate  Timothy McVeigh removed his license plate and was arrested nicely after he bombed a federal building in Oklahoma City. You can even draw your own plate, show a fake drivers license and fight the police like this guy did and still walk away unhurt. We are still researching what Korryn Gaines and Sam Dubose did wrong to get themselves shot because of their license plates. They must have skipped one of the steps.

4. Act Crazy Maybe it was the medicine you were taking like the Sandy Hooks shooter. Maybe it was a mental problem like the Colorado theater shooter. Maybe it was video games. Maybe you were a “troubled young man. If you act crazy, they won’t shoot you. If you put your hands above your head and act rationally, like Terence Crutcher, or sit on the ground with your hands above your head to protect an autistic patient, like Charles Kinsey did, they might shoot you. You can’t just go regular, twitching head and drooling at the mouth crazy. You have to go “White people crazy”. Talk about the aliens inhabiting your body. Eat somebody’s face. Remember, your life depends on it.

3. Commit an act of terrorism – On the list of the Top Ten White terrorists of all time, none were killed by cops. They all faced trial or took their own lives. I know Black people are shot for wrong turns, Skittles, loose cigarettes, selling CDs etc. Maybe their crimes are too petty to warrant the sparing of their lives. I’m just guessing here.

2. Look on YouTube We could not possibly list all of the ways people avoid being shot by the cops, but you should go onto YouTube and view the plethora of White people (they know all the tricks) cursing out policemen, asserting their rights, telling officers “I don’t answer questions” and asking for badge numbers. There is no way to watch all of the videos, but it is quite an education on the disparity between how they treat people of color and everyone else.

Of course, there is one fullproof way to avoid being shot by the police. Every statistical analysis shows you what you can do to avoid death at the hands of a law enforcement officer. The number one way to not be shot by a cop is…

Drumroll please–

1. Be White See. It’s just that simple. 

Take care, and remember:

This is America.

About the author

Michael Harriot is a renowned spoken word poet, the host of The Black One podcast and the editor-in-chief of NegusWhoRead. He is perpetually just getting warmed up because he has no chill. He is on Instagram and twitter as @michaelharriot